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Blatter blasts Brazil’s brutal World Cup preparations

Jan 6, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

2014 World Cup

Sepp Blatter can hardly believe how far behind schedule Brazil is for this summer’s World Cup, blasting the nation in a Swiss interview.

“Brazil has just realized what it means to organize a World Cup,” Blatter said in an interview with Swiss newspaper 24 Heures. “They started a lot too late. It is the country which is the furthest behind since I’ve been at FIFA and moreover, it’s the only one that had so much time — seven years — to prepare itself.”

There have been massive stadium delays and construction catastrophes featuring not just one, but multiple fatalities,  as only six of the 12 stadiums on deadline to be completed by New Year’s Eve are done. The seventh was ceremoniously “delivered” at the deadline, but still isn’t ready (which truly begs the gall it takes to make such a statement).

Aldo Rebelo is Brazil’s sports minister and said there are no worries about the stadiums being ready for the tournament, and Blatter claims optimism over the entire ordeal. Yet the fact that he raises his voice publicly says something about how things are going for the South American tournament. With worker protests and plenty of tumult south of the Equator, it certainly hasn’t been a run of infrastructure brilliance.

Then, there’s this:

Jerome Valcke, the top FIFA official in charge of the World Cup, said recently that the tournament would have “the highest level of security you can imagine.”

So we can expect half-eagle, half-dragons with laser vision.

  1. footballer4ever - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    USA would be ready to host WC within a month’s notice. What’s the latest FiFa can decide to change WC hosts, if necessary?

    • talgrath - Jan 6, 2014 at 9:17 PM

      A month? Now, I’m all for American optimism, but you need at least 3 months. The only time in history that a World Cup location was changed was Columbia who backed out due to financial inability, but that was four years in advance. If Brazil isn’t ready, chances are good FIFA would just cancel the tournament, something it hasn’t done since World War 2.

      • Matthew - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:05 AM

        Agree & disagree, Talgrath; on the logistics side, you’re dead-to-rights there on the time there. Three months would have to be the absolute, bare-bones minimum time that the U.S. would need to get an emergency setup for the 2014 World Cup set up; I mean, just think of everything that U.S. Soccer would have to do in order to get everything down – every host venue, accommodations for teams, visitors, fans, journalists, etc.. – and you wonder why events of this nature are scheduled so far in advance.

        I disagree, though, on FIFA cancelling the 2014 World Cup; that would be tantamount to admitting that FIFA screwed up in awarding the event to Brazil in the first place and given the seeming push by FIFA to host WCs’ in new locations (Brazil, Russia, Qatar, etc.), it would not only be an embarrassment to FIFA but to the host countries as well, as if they were saying, “We’re not ready for prime time; go somewhere else.”

      • talgrath - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        Don’t get me wrong, I highly doubt the World Cup will be cancelled, but the idea that it would get shifted over by FIFA seems unlikely in the highly unusual situation where Brazil says it isn’t ready. If anything, they would delay it so that Brazil could finish up.

      • footballer4ever - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        @ Talgrath

        I must admit I exaggerated there, but the main point is that if needed, U.S. can/will be ready if needed.

      • talgrath - Jan 12, 2014 at 12:34 AM

        I agree, most European countries could also host as well.

      • footballer4ever - Jan 12, 2014 at 9:56 AM

        With 5 months left to go, I find it really unlikely the WC get moved to any other country at this time. It would still be played in Brasil, but the consequences /shame of not being ready would be historical and non forgiving.

  2. nextmanup81 - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Most of the large football stadiums in the US sit empty for all or most of summer. Hotels are plenty as well – infrastructure is in place for the US to host the World Cup on a months notice, it would be FIFA that would need more time to handle all of the logistics of a switch.

    However, having lived in Brazil from 2005-2008 – I can say that it’s not uncommon for things to come together at the deadline in Brazil. I’m sure they’ll get it figured out and put on a good Cup. Blather is partially to blame, if there’s no accountability to have this stuff done by FIFA’s deadline, then is there really a deadline at all?

    • talgrath - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      The infrastructure is there, but it’s more than just that, you need police, fire and medical ready in each city. You need Homeland Security, the FAA and the TSA to be ready for a huge influx of sports tourism in each city hosting games. It isn’t just “Hey we’re having a massive sporting event here next month, okay?”.

      • footballer4ever - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        Even with 3 months notice and the profits WC can bring to the U.S economy, synchronizing things might be hectic, but it might end up being better than what Brasil might offer even with 4 years notice. It’s not an insult, but a matter of fact that the non-chalant business urgency attitude in how things are done is causing these alarming deficiencies. South Africa, with all their limitations/economic problems, was in better shape than what Brasil is nowadays and that says a lot.

      • talgrath - Jan 12, 2014 at 12:34 AM

        Certainly, the fact that it’s even possible as a discussion is alarming, but I see this idea all the time, the idea that putting on a big event is just a matter of having a place to put everyone. There’s a lot that goes into hosting a major event at a stadium, these things don’t just happen.

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